Archive for February, 2014

Fry ‘Em!

I got a new toy yesterday and I’m so happy. I’ve wanted one of these since I saw one in a gardening catalog a few months ago, and I finally found one in a local nursery on the 10% off Senior’s Day so we got a deal on it. It’s a Mini Dragon Weed Eater and it uses flame to kill weeds. It’s amazing! What used to take hours of backbreaking labor now takes a few minutes of hot fire. Wow!

I really do try to keep up with the weeds in our garden. I’m always pulling them out when they’re small so they don’t get too big as to be too much work. But one side of the yard is infested with serious grass and I just can’t get in to pull it out. So I’ve gone in a few times a year trying to get to them. I can only do this in the late spring or fall when the trees are bare so I can get at them. That time is now folks!

We first tried using a regular propane torch like you use for soldering and it work OK but it had such a small area of fire that it would have taken ages to do it. Plus it’s too hard to get back inside of the plants at the back of the bed. So we decided it was time to go for the real thing.

Off we went to the nursery and got the Weed Dragon Mini version. There’s a larger one that has a tank on a cart with 10 feet or so of hose so you can do big jobs. But for our little garden this mini one is just perfect. It has a super hot fire and a large outlet and just wilts the leaves in place immediately. Just a few passes and it’s over.

They say that you just need to flash over the weeds with a flame and it kills them but I was more intense and actually burned  them to the ground where I could. The wand makes it easy to get in behind the Pine and other plants that are too dense to really garden under so far back in the bed against the fence. I had to be careful so as not to burn the fence and we kept a jug of water handy all the time just in case, as you can see in the picture.

I showed the whole Weed Dragon as it first came from the box, and then with the tank on. It’s just one of the little 1 pound ones you see for propane stoves and such. It’s lightweight and easy to balance in your hand and you have to hold it at a 6:00 to 8:00 position or it’ll flame out so you have to use some care with it. Don’t want to lose the flame or start a fire!

I’ve shown some photos of what it looks like to actually use it and how far the flame will reach and spread out or how it will pin point and get really hot in a certain place. I shot several photos of the weeds after I burned them out and you can still see some green but it’s fading fast. I did these all yesterday and this morning you can see the weeds still sticking out from the edge of the filler, but they’re dying you can tell.

After I killed all the grasses we got some special driveway mix filler rock. It’s crushed 5/8″ inch gravel with a binder in it just for drives but it’s perfect for foundations for fountains or for decks and it works great to seal up areas like this where you don’t want anything to grow. The last few shots show what it looks like with the filler in place. It’s the end for weeds growing there now. I hope…

So all we have to do is go back a couple times a year with the Weed Dragon and top off the area near the fence and the filler. Anything that tries to come up again will be fried and won’t bother us again, and if it does we’ll fry it again. No mercy for these grasses I’m afraid.

Just using it right now in the back of the bed has been a tricky job but I think once I get more used to the Weed Dragon I’ll be able to use it closer to some of the plants and kill more weeds that way. But I’m being cautious at first. Don’t wanna catch any pine needles on fire!

The timing for this is pretty remarkable for me personally. On Monday my back went into spasm and I couldn’t walk that night. So I got some acupuncture on Tuesday and yesterday I felt OK enough to do the work, but it got me in the end and last night I went into spasm again. Sigh. This hasn’t happened in years and I’m a bit worried about it.

Sometimes I get totally crippled by the back spasms and I hope that doesn’t happen now. Even using the weed dragon when I feel like this would be too much for me. So I”ll be careful today and when I can use it again thsi tool will save me from hurting myself again in the future. Just no more rock for awhile, thank you…

So one more pass and we’re done with the weeding in this area for the year I hope. We have another bad patch in the back that we want to try it on too and it’ll save us untold hours of hard work that will now be easy to do. The Weed Dragon is advertised as being organic and doesn’t use herbicides and will still kill the grasses. It seems like a win – win to me.

These cost around 60 bucks, which is a lot, but I think it’ll be worth it for the saving on our bodies over time. I’m sure we’ll find other uses for it too as time goes on. They work to defrost driveways or walks and it can be used for that too. It’s a very versatile tool. I hope it does work as well as advertised and as it seems to do so far. If so we’ll have cut our weeding time back a lot. Yay for appropriate technology!

Happily Frying the Weeds! 😉

Steve

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Seattle Home Show

We didn’t make it to the Flower and Garden Show this year so we decided to go to the Seattle Home Show instead. It’s mostly focused on home improvement, but they have several nice landscape features that I tried to capture a bit with a few photos. None of these gardens are really spectacular but they’re still pretty and show some of what folks around here are doing with landscapes these days.

We went to look at some things for the house, like new tubs for walking into, and new carpets and greenhouse windows and other stuff, and we got a lot of good information. It was a fun, easy day of wandering thru the show seeing all the new things people are using this year. I was amazed at all the spas that are for sale now, and the little saunas are cool too. But not for us…

Many of these shots are surrounding model homes of various sorts tho there are also shots of the wine and beer garden in the large open areas. I took these photos to show some of the particular plants that they have displayed. Some of them are ones I have in this garden here but many are not. You can tell how popular the coral bark maple is in how often it’s used here. Same with the Pieris and some others. And lots of grasses. I especially love the Yuletide camellias with their bright red blooms with yellow stamens.

Some folks bring in large trees to create a feeling of the forest in this huge convention center. It’s part of the CenturyLink Field where they hold football games, I think. I’m not a sports fan. This is in the exhibition hall and it’s one of the largest home shows in the country. I can believe it. We covered it in about 3 or 4 hours of solid walking with a break to learn about earthquake safety, something we have to worry about here in the PNW with its fault lines.  They expect a Big One sometime in the next 50 years. I hope I don’t live to see it… 😉

I also included some shots of a statuary place that had very interesting creations that the owner designs himself. We talked to him awhile about how he uses rubber molds and cement to make these beauties, and his prices are really nice. We plan to go to his showroom near us in the future to add a few more art pieces to the garden. They add a really nice feeling to it.

I can’t claim to have gotten any new gardening ideas from this show but I still appreciated seeing the designs that folks do. Of course none of them would grow in the real world as they’re display gardens meant to look good now and not in 5 years. They’d all be overgrown like crazy. But that’s OK and just the way it has to be. It’s nice to see things that look good from the get go and provide a sense of completion when they’re created.

So that’s it. I hope to make it to the Flower and Garden Show next year and will try to do a post on it when that happens. They do have some really nice gardens there and I’ve gotten some good ideas attending it. It’ll be cool to see it again, but for now I’m glad to have had the chance to see the gardens here at this Home Show and to have seen all the ways people are remodeling their homes and building new ones. It’s all fascinating to me looking thru my gardener’s lens…

Happy remodeling,

Steve

Forage

In creating this Nature Sanctuary here we’ve tried to include as many creature friendly plant as possible. Primarily this means feeding the bees, birds, butterflies and squirrels where we are. No deer to contend with thankfully, here in the city, tho sometimes the raccoons squash things. I don’t know if they’re eating them too. Probably. Oh well, everybody has to eat, eh?

In no particular order I’ve included many of the things I’ve planted that attract bees in particular, since they’re in such a bad state now I want to do all I can to help them out here in this small oasis. But the butterflies and the hummers are my favorites, especially the hummers when they play in the water when I do the garden. It’s grand to watch them dancing around.

Some of these plants are annuals, some are perennials and some are shrubs and even small trees. I didn’t include pines or large confers but their cones will provide food in time to come as they get bigger. I did include berries since they provide good food for many creatures. It’s cool to watch the squirrels go after the sunflowers or the Irish Yew berries. And they all like the Bee Balm.

I’ve labeled them all so you can tell what they are, and I think you’ll be able to tell just what draws what by virtue of the kind of flower it has. The tubular ones draw the hummers best tho they also love the bee balm. And the bees go absolutely crazy over a few things like the Oregano and the Jade Frost Eryngium that are both covered it them when they’re in season. Of course all the flowers love the bees, and vice versa.

I’ve tried to include a bunch of natives, from the west coast and from the rest of the US too. The huckleberry, the western azalea, the windflower, the coneflower and the manzanita are some examples of these. We also have many plants that provide cover for the birds in particular and that will only increase as the trees grow and the shrubs get larger. Already the hedge along the north side is alive with birds year round. It’s so cool…

The last part of a Forager’s Garden is water, and tho I didn’t show pictures of them we have a fountain in back and a water bath in front so both areas have that precious commodity to offer even it winter. We froze our fountain this year because it got so cold but we still put hot water in it to allow the birds some fresh water as needed even in the freezing weather. The cats like it too.. 😉

Of course I did include the bird feeders. Louie takes care of them all and does a great job of keeping the hummer water fresh and feeds the birds several times every day to make sure they always have plenty to eat. Right now the suet holders are empty since it’s warmed up a bit, but in winter we keep them full as well. The birds and the squirrels love the high protein mixes they provide.

This is the part of the garden that really interacts with the rest of the creatures that live here. I think it’s so cool to have all them in the garden and Louie and I spend hours just watching the birds and butterflies and even the bees when they’re around. It feels good to provide a haven for them and it enriches our own experience so much.

These are all plants that I’ve personally watched the creatures munch on so I know they work here. But it may be different where you live. I highly recommend that you try to find out what plants work best in your area for the critters. You’ll be glad you did!

Feeding the birds, bees, and butterflies!

Steve

A Fine Day for Pruning

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I’ve been itching to get my shears out and prune these Japanese Maples for some time now. There’s some controversy about just when is the “proper” time to prune these delicate creatures. I tend to follow the advice of Cass Turnbull, of Plant Amnesty, a Master Pruner here in Seattle. She says the best time is basically “when the shears are sharp”.

In other words you prune them when you’re ready to do it. You have to be in the right frame of mind to do these trees. They can be messed up so easily if you make the wrong cuts. I have spent literally hours gazing at these two trees to determine just which branches to cut and why. My goal is to prune so that you can’t tell that I’ve even done it.

I suppose you’re wondering why I put  up these two shots. After all you can’t tell anything can you? I sure hope not. If you can tell I’ve just pruned a couple of buckets of branches off the two of them then I’ve done a poor job. If you could see them up close you’d see a scar or two of course but otherwise I think you can’t tell.

We were lucky to have a perfect day today for this work. It’s been sunny and warmish, for Seattle anyway, with no rain, another rare occurrence just lately. And I just felt good about it today. I was in the right frame of mind and felt prepared to do it and suffer the consequences if I screwed up. But I don’t think I did. They look just like I had in mind for them to look when I was done.

I pruned several other things in the yard but the prostrate rosemary that half froze to death isn’t that pretty right now and the Pfitzer Juniper didn’t fit my theme of maples so I’m not showing those. I did a bunch of other chores around the yard since it was so nice out and I was in the mood. I’ve really been wanting to do some gardening and it’s just been too wet recently so I’ve put it off.

So today when I got home from an appointment I put on my pruning gear and got myself prepared. I sharpened my shears and got out the buckets and bins to put the prunings in. I spent an little time just looking at the trees again to make sure I was ready for this and I got out the tall pruning ladder so I could get at the top of the bigger one and off I went.

The top shot is of a Japanese Maple, or Acer palmatum, called Sangokaku or Coral Bark Maple, for its reddish new bark. It means Pillar of Coral in Japanese, or Sea Corral to be precise since that’s what it supposedly reminds folks of there. It gets about 25 or 30 feet tall and grows in this vase shape tho I’ve emphasized it and made it tighter since it’s between two paths and we need to be able to walk under it.

The other one is an Acer palmatum dissectum called “Waterfall” we just got about a year ago. It was pretty low to the ground when we first got it and I had to prune quite a bit last year. Over the past growing season it put on a lot of growth and so I had to do some more work on it today to keep it off the Rhodie in front of it and keep it in good shape. It may get to 10 feet tall they say and as wide. I’ll have more pruning to do in time.

I have 4 other Japanese maples in this garden and the rest of them don’t really take any pruning to speak of yet. They’re growing very slowly, except for one I’ll profile soon, and just can’t handle any loss of limbs. I’m waiting for them to gain some size first before I attempt to prune them much and some of them will probably never need much pruning. I’ll get to them when it’s time.

I have pruned them a bit tho and you can’t tell at all that I’ve even touched them it’s so subtle. That’s the way I approach most of my pruning. I’ll try to be as subtle as I can so you can’t tell what I’ve done. It’s like how when you clean a house it just looks right when you’re done, you can’t tell you cleaned it actually and done any work. Good pruning can be like that. You can’t see it.

I was taught to prune by a few talented people in my youth and one of them gave me a motto I love. He said he did “Aesthetic and Therapeutic Pruning”, a phrase I’ve used ever since. This practice means that you take into account the nature of the plant you’re working on and allow it to be itself as much as possible, with minor adjustments to keep it in shape and healthy as well as beautiful. It’s a great way to think about it.

I don’t believe in topping plants if there’s any other way to prune them. But sometimes it’s necessary. I almost lost a big Viburnum rhytidophyllum a year or so ago and thought it was going to die so I topped it way back and tied it up and in a few months it started to grow again and is a gorgeous shrub that looks grand now. You can see where I cut it still but that will disappear in time as it’s an evergreen so will cover up its scars. But it’s rare I’ll do something that radical unless I’m trying to save a plants’ life, which was so in that case.

But topping trees is often a tragedy and I really try to talk people out of it if there’s any other way to go. Often it’s more work to do it right I’ll admit, but you end up with a plant that has it’s natural form instead of bare arms sticking up out of the jungle of suckers that will come on after you top something. It looks like hell to me and I hate it. There are better ways to do it if you just look closely and see where to cut it.

We have a big pruning project we still have to do – an Italian plum in the back yard that shades much of the garden. It’s gotten way too heavy and needs to be thinned badly. It’ll be a few hours project tho and we just haven’t gotten to it yet. But we will soon, before it starts to bud out. The cherry next to it has buds showing now and I think I got to the Maples just in time too because one of the ones I have in a pot is definitely starting to push its buds out already. I’m so excited I can’t stand it! Wow… 😉

Anyway, that’s enough about pruning for now. I know that as time goes on I’ll have many more plants to prune in this garden that have yet to mature. But I hope I’ve done a good enough job of planting them with enough space to grow that I won’t have to do a whole lot of pruning to keep them happy together. Time will tell but if I can do it so you can’t tell I’ll be happy. And so will the plants!

Pruning to be invisible,

Steve

PS: Here are a couple of posts I’ve done on pruning before: https://gardeningingreenwood.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/plant-amnesty-says-stop-topping-trees/ and https://gardeningingreenwood.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/some-thoughts-on-pruning-and-size/. Both have some redundant material but new stuff too, especially about Plant Amnesty, which is so cool I want to share it again… ;). Thanks for reading.

Fagus sylvatica “Purpurea Pendula”

This plant is a unique specimen in my garden. I planted it as a memorial to my brother Randy, who died of AIDS in 2009. I put some of his ashes under it and always introduce it as “Randy’s Tree”. It has grown steadily even when Louie accidentally cut its bark with the weedeater, but it recovered and is growing strong and full today. Unlike him…

I really miss my brother. We were just the two of us growing up and tho we didn’t always get along great we loved each other a lot. He was my best friend and my best enemy, as it often is with brothers. It’s been over 4 years now since I lost him and the pain is still sharp at times, and a dull ache at others. It’s hard to lose someone as close to you as a brother, especially a younger one and the only one you have.

He was an artist and I have a nice collection of his paintings from early in his life when we all lived together on an old homestead in the High Sierras in central California. He painted many paintings of the place we lived and every time I see them on our walls I’m reminded of better days when he was OK and healthy as a horse.

Sometime in the mid-80s he was diagnosed as having HIV antibodies in his system. He refused to go to western doctors, or should I say he tried to go to them but they all said he was just going to die so he quit their death rants and started on Chinese Medicine. He used Chinese herbs to alleviate his condition for many many years and kept himself healthy for a long time – over 20 years.

But he was also Bipolar like me, only he wouldn’t get a check up and get diagnosed till the end of his life and it started to eat away at his brain sometime in the early 2000’s. He slowly developed dementia and by the time he died he was barely there much of the time. I spent the last few months of his life first going to CA to get him back and then going to the hospice we put him in when we got him home to Seattle.

I can’t say enough good things about Bailey Boushay House here in Seattle. They are truly wondrous caring compassionate people and they made his last days so much better than they might have been. I visited him almost every day for over 2 months till the end and I’m so glad we had that time together. It was very hard being with him but I loved him so much, and he loved me back, and that made it OK to be there.

I lost him on Oct. 2, 2009 in the middle of the afternoon. I wasn’t there yet but a close friend of his was, and he sang him to sleep and let him slowly pass on in peace and harmony. It was a “good death” if there is such a thing. He wasn’t in pain and suffering like he had been for so many years and for that I’m grateful. But I’ll always miss him so much…. Sigh.

A little about this tree itself… It’s a weeping copper beech tree and it’s parent covers much of Europe. This is a garden cultivar that grows to maybe 10 feet tall or more with a mounding habit. I’ve trained it up to about that 10 feet now and expect it to mound up on itself and become more broad as time goes on. It’ll eventually have to be pruned to let us pass it when we go thru the gate next to it.

I’ve been amazed at how fast it’s grown here. Maybe a foot or more a year which surprised me as I thought they were slow growers. I guess it likes it here. Maybe it’s because of all the attention I give it. I spend a lot of time with this tree, just admiring it and thinking of Randy. Even now it makes me cry to think about him. It’s a living memorial to him and it’s the only one like this I have in my garden.

I’ve arranged the photos as I usually do, in chronological order so you can see it as it grows and in different seasons as well. I’m seriously considering taking the stake out but I think I’ll wait till warmer weather when the wind stops blowing so hard and it’ll have a better chance of staying upright. I’m not worried, just cautious. I don’t want to lose this one… not that I want to lose anything, but this is a special plant in this special Sanctuary…

So that’s about it. I didn’t talk about the tree so much as I did my brother. I guess I needed to do that. I honor his memory by writing this and I wish you all had a chance to know him as I did. He was such a creative guy and so loving and kind. I wish there were more people like him in the world. It’d be a much better place.

A great tree for a great guy,

Steve

A Walk Around the Park

This is a bit of a different sort of post for me. I usually show you my garden, but today it’s covered in snow and tho it’s beautiful I thought I’d do something about the neighborhood instead. We went for a walk early this morning in the new snow and seeing the kids at the park made want to do a bit of a photo essay on the joy and excitement I saw there.

So I went back home and got my camera and Louie and I walked back around the whole park and I shot photos of it from various angles as we went along to give a sense of perambulating the park and seeing it from many perspectives. I started at the corner nearest our house, just a coupled 0f blocks away, and went from there in a clockwise arrangement and took pictures.

There’s lots of  kids in this neighborhood and it seemed like they were all out there playing in the snow today. It’s so rare that we get enough to do this that everyone was taking advantage of it. I know that for many of you this seems silly. But for us it’s a big deal and we make the most of it when we get it. It’ll be gone in a day or less according to the weather reports, so we have to enjoy it now.

I’ll let the pictures tell their own story here. There’s not much to say except this park has only been here for 30 some years but some of the trees are quite big and make a nice forest at one end. It’s The neighborhood park for the immediate area and takes up a full block with its beauty. We’re lucky to live so close to it and be able to walk thru it regularly. What a gift, eh? 😉

Enjoying the snow,

Steve

Subtle Signs of Spring

If any of you had any doubts about the fact that I’m a bit obsessive about this garden this post will certainly prove it. I have a small garden so I look very closely at it all the time. I’m always checking things out to see if there are new things happening in the garden, and usually there are. Especially now as we begin to turn into Spring.

I follow what’s often called a Celtic Calendar, which may or may not be true in fact, but it works well for me. I start spring at the beginning of February, as it seems to be the time when I see things beginning to sprout and bud out and begin to grow. I figure the Equinox is actually mid-spring as we’re well into it by then and things are in full swing. So then May 1st is the start of summer.

Summer solstice is Mid-summer to me and august 1st begins the Autumn time. It goes thru the Equinox as its center point and then winter begins at Halloween and has its mid point at the winter solstice. In each case we go into the season and come out of it it again in the space of the time allotted. It makes a lot of sense to me and seems to work well where I live tho it may not fit other climates at all.

So here are some shots of what Spring looks like at this time of year for me in this garden of small delights. And I do mean small. Some of these pictures are so hard to see that even with the slide show it’ll be difficult to see why I’m so excited. But if you look closely you’ll see what I’m seeing and why I’m so amazed about it all.

Starting off is an easy one – a Camellia japonica which is huge and loaded with buds. There are quite a few just starting to open and they look fine. This plant is in the tea family – the Theaceae and is related to commercial tea shrubs, which are called Camellia sinensis. I have a few of them in the greenhouse I’ll show to you someday.

Next is a subtle one – a red flowering currant, a Ribes sanguineum “King Edward VII”, in the Grossulariaceae family. It’s native to our area and gets about 6-8 feet or more with early pink blooms that will come on soon it looks like. Now you can just see the buds beginning to push out as the sap rises. And don’t ever think I have a perfect garden without weeds. Just look at the ones behind this plant! I’ve hated Bermuda grass since I was a kid and pulled it out all the time. Sigh…

The Candytuft, or Iberis, is in the Brassicaceae, with the mustard family crops we grow in the veggie garden like broccoli and cabbage. It’s already starting its early bloom season out by the mailbox in front of the house. It turns pure white when it’s in full bloom.

Next is one that’s actually been blooming for awhile but I wanted show it since it’s so nice now. It’s a Mahonia Charity in the Berberidaceae family, the barberry family along with the next plant, the Oregon Grape. You can just see the small buds at its tips on this plant if you look closely. It’ll have the same yellow flowers with dark blue berries the birds love. The bees like the flowers too.

Next is a simple primrose in the Primulaceae that decided to begin blooming this early for a change. It’s an anomaly as they usually don’t do it this early but I guess it is so I’m happy with it… The next two are cheaters because they’re in the greenhouse. This first is a Persian cyclamen, also in the Primrose family, that has such lovely blooms now. The other is a beautifully scented plant called a Freesia that grows in the garden usually but it looked bad so it’s receiving attention in the greenhouse now. It’s doing well as you can see.

Following is the classic Winter Daphne, with all its frost burned leaves from the 14 degree weather we had a few weeks ago. It’s covered with new buds along the stem and even has a few bloom buds turning pink at their edges if you look inside it. It’s the sweetest thing in the garden when it blooms and it’s truly intoxicating. It’s in the Thymelaceae family.

I couldn’t go without touching the veggie garden a bit. Here is Swiss chard that is coming out now so early and has kept its color all thru the winter so far. It’ll be beginning  to grow soon and we’ll have some fresh greens to eat then. The next one is a weird vine called a California Dutchman’s Pipe and has these amazing purple flowers that really look like a pipe and can draw insects in to sip the nectar and pollinate them, but then they are set free and the plant doesn’t eat them as some plants do. It’s in the Aristolochiaceae along with the Wild Ginger I have in the garden. Both have really interesting flowers and I wonder if the whole family is like this. Cool…

This one you really have to look closely at. It’s a bed of naturalized Columbine seedlings that are growing nicely and will form quite a good patch of them in a bit. I love them even if they are a nuisance at times. They’re in the Ranunculaceae family, with all the other Ranunculus. Next is another teeny tiny one – a small Lupin that I think must be a Russel’s hybrid since it’s coming back where I put some last year. It’s a biennial in the Fabaceae, the Legume family, with peas and beans and all sorts of stuff we need to fix nitrogen in the soil. It’s got beautiful stocks of blue flowers in summertime.

Here’s the Hellebore, or Lenten Rose, that so many folks are seeing now in their gardens. This one started out as a Mardi Grass pink and put out some seedlings that are pure white so I get both colors when they bloom. They’re just starting and I cut them back this year to allow for lots of new growth. They’re in the Ranunculaceae along with the Columbines.

This one is an evergreen Clematis called Clematis armandi which will have sweet smelling white blossoms in a few weeks. It’s growing along the fence line and will get too big where it is but it’s so established I’m just going to have to live with it. I hope it does OK and thrives in this watery spot… It’s also in the Ranunculacea.

Now we come to a few Ericaceous plants. How could I not include them? First is a heath called Kramer’s Rote that is in almost full bloom now. It’s so nice in the heather garden as it gives us blooms in this time of year whereas the heathers proper bloom in summer. Next is a Lily of the Valley shrub, Mountain Flame, with some buds just starting to open. It blooms very early and is beautiful with its dark wine red buds.

The next is a simple Huckleberry, a native of the mountains of the PNW. You can just see the buds as they’re forming here and are ready to push forth sweet pink blossoms that will turn into tart blue black berries in a few months to feed the birds. We even get to taste a few of them… The last ericaceous one is a Leucothoe that is just starting to set its bloom buds as you can see at the ends of the branches. They’ll be white and smell a bit sweet.

Coming to the end we have a Ural False Spirea or Sorbaria sorbifolia “Sem”, which is in the Rosaceae or Rose family. You know it I’m sure… And the last one is another sweet one. It’s a Sarcococca ruscifolia or Himalayan Sweet box as I learned it. It fills the whole of the front entry to the house with its amazing fragrance now and is just lovely. It’s in the Buxaceae, or box family. I treasure this plant and even have two of them, a rare thing for me to do…

So that’s the tour of early Spring. I know these things I’ve shown are very subtle at times but that’s part of their charm to me. I love to see things like this when they are just beginning to grow and see them in their infancy. It’s so exciting to see things starting to grow again in this garden and I hope that things are going to start soon for you too, tho I know it’s not true for many of you covered in snow as you are.

I  sympathize. We’re due some snow in a day or two ourselves but it won’t be much. It’ll still get cold and we’ll still have snow and rain and all the rest of the winter type circumstances. But it’s Spring now to me and I’m having a blast with it. I hope you are too!

The Sap is Rising!

Steve

Old School Garden

my gardening life through the year

A Tramp in the Woods

A nature diary from the Forest of Dean.

MOONSIDE

TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

Phoenix - The Rebirth of My Life

Raise mental illness awareness. Stop the stigma. Save a life.

iiThinks

Poetry of the Soul

Kitt O'Malley

Love, Learn & Live with Bipolar Disorder

Uncle Tree's House

Putting music to words, and words to pictures ~

Forest Garden

Tips, tricks, and tools for gardening in a forest community

The Tropical Flowering Zone

Photographic Journals from the Tropics

Nodus Tollens

Insanity is relative

⚡️La Audacia de Aquiles⚡️

"El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto" / "The Visible World is Just a Pretext".-

Shechaim's News of the Day

We Persist, We are Americans, Persist for what you know is True! PRESIST https://www.persist.org/

bloomingspiders

Spinning truth to net hearts

Jnana's Red Barn

Come view the world from my loft

Dawne Enlightened

Loving Myself to Overcome Abuse & Violence

Welcome to infinitefreetime dot com

The website of Luther M. Siler, author of fictional things

Art Attack

Discovering art in everything

Source of Inspiration

All is One, co-creating with the Creator

ronfeir

Riveting Real Estate & Fine Living Content from Las Vegas!!!

twng32

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Dreamwalker's Sanctuary

A Sanctuary for Enlightenment and Peace through Poetry and Inspirational Thoughts as we go through Life

Social Action 2014

http://www.scoop.it/t/one-child-at-a-time

In the Wake of Suicide....trying to understand

....I love You beyond words. Save me Lord. I will not let go of You. Hear me O' Lord. In Christ's Powerful Name Amen ~ Brandon Heath

Garlic Celery Carrots

Adventures in Urban Farming

Jardin

Transform your outdoor space

Rachel Carrera, Novelist

Writer of psychological thrillers and other things guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat

Colorado Plateau Gardening & Horticulture

About the Past, Present, and Future of Farming on the Colorado Plateau

that cynking feeling

You know the one I'm talking about . . .

The Official Blog For Mental Health Project

Making mental health everyone's concern

Not Another Gardening Blog

Yes indeed another gardening blog.......a Designer's Perspective.

Madeleine Moments

Time Lost, Time Regained

Friendly Fairy Tales

Celebrating Nature and Magic for Kids of all Ages

Eddie Two Hawks

Seeds of peace planted within yourself sprout everywhere

everyday gurus

Everyday, Everywhere We Are Guided Towards Happiness

The Demons Of My Insane Sanity

WE ARE THE AUTHOR OF OUR OWN LIFE: SO LET'S MAKE OUR STORY ROCK! – S.L.EDAGO

THE UNFETTERED FOX

Curious facts and cautionary tales ~ adventures in rural living

The Frustrated Gardener

The life and loves of a time-poor plantsman

What the Ducks!

From suburban lawn to backyard homestead...with ducks. A journal by Lori Fontanes

fromacountrycottage

trying to live as lightly as possible on our beautiful planet

gentlestitches

the future is in our hands

quarteracrelifestyle

The "Good Life" on a quarter acre, frugal living

Eliza Waters

My Own Paradise: Life on Seven and a Half Acres

A Random Harvest

What we are making, thinking and doing . . .

petitemagique

A blog about photography & writing

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.